The team of refugees will enter the arena of the 5th Asian Games in Ashgabat under the anthem of the OCA

The hymn of the team of refugees at the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games will be the anthem of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). This is reported by the State News Agency of Turkmenistan with reference to the Executive Committee on the preparation for the Games.

The guide of the team of refugees will be the head of the delegation, Tegra Loroupe, the Olympic champion from Kenya, who is also the ambassador of the United Nation project “Sport and Peace”.

According to the sport coordinator of refugees’ team Claude Marshall of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the Executive Committee of the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games at the beginning of the year asked the Agency to participate in the Games of Ashgabat 2017.

The International Olympic Committee and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees have worked together for the last 22 years to make sports available in all refugee camps. To implement such projects, the IOC purposely allocates funds.

Now, therefore, the united team of refugees will be one of the 65 delegations participating in the largest international competitions in the history of Central Asia.

The idea to involve athletes, due to circumstances forced to leave their native places, in the Olympic Games, was announced by the IOC President, Thomas Bach, in 2015, when he was touched by the distressful situation of a large number of refugees who had migrated to Europe. And then the IOC members took the same “historical decision” with the purpose to draw the attention of the world community to this issue. They said: “This will be a signal of hope for refugees around the world.”

For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, the refugee team took part in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.